Monday 26 September 2016

Kerry's Sarah Palin? Danny Healy-Rae says changing climate is an act of 'God above'

Barry Lennon and Cormac McQuinn

Published 05/05/2016 | 02:30

Maura Healy-Rae campaigning with her father Danny in Kerry. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Maura Healy-Rae campaigning with her father Danny in Kerry. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has been branded "Kerry's Sarah Palin" following his remarks on climate change.

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Mr Healy-Rae told the Dáil chamber that mankind had no impact on climate change and that "God above" alone is responsible for the weather.

Galway Independent TD Catherine Connolly drew comparisons between Sarah Palin, the former US vice-presidential candidate who once promoted an anti-­climate change film, and Mr Healy-Rae.

"Unfortunately, Kerry's Deputy Palin Healy-Rae has left the chamber and I would refer him to the inter-governmental panel on climate change and on their assessment and in particular to their fifth assessment report," Ms Connolly told the Dáil.

Mr Healy-Rae caused controversy when he addressed a Dáil debate on the issue. He denied that the burning of fossil fuels was a root cause of global warming - despite widespread scientific agreement that it is.

"[In the] 1840s we had the famine. We lost over three million people that time and we had no combustible engines then," he said.

Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil chamber that mankind had no impact on climate change
Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil chamber that mankind had no impact on climate change

"Climate change, I don't think mankind had any hand, act or part in."

Mr Healy-Rae hit out at the carbon tax based on car emissions, saying it is "hurting the young fella going to work in the morning".

"I believe God above is in charge of the weather and that we here can't do anything about it," he added.

Acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly criticised Fianna Fáil on climate change, suggesting the party thought "pints with the people was more important".

The Tipperary deputy pointed out that the subject was left out in the party's deal with Fine Gael.

"The major issue now missing from this famous document is actually climate change. The global cause of the generation is missing from the famous document."

Labour TD Mr Kelly also hit out at the length of time the two main parties were taking to negotiate an arrangement to facilitate a Fine Gael minority government."How this document took 70 days is incredible. That's 10 days per page," he said.

As Mr Kelly began his speech, he noted that he was the only TD present: "This is probably the most important issue facing us in the world and not one single representative is inside the chamber."

He welcomed Fianna Fáil's Anne Rabbitte as she entered the chamber during his remarks.

Irish Independent

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